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Archive for June, 2006

Okay, I have the Fish, but I’m Missing Somthing Jun 28


I’ve been watching a cooking program about fish tonight and really thinking about it. And as mentioned a few weeks ago its not like I don’t have access to the thingings. Actually I probably have access to more types of fish that anyone else in the world. Japan has the largest fish market the in the world (Tsukiji) so why I am complaining?

Well, I think its because for me there is something more than just eating fish. Its the whole process of catching, cleaing and preparing!. Squid caught in the Indian Ocean eaten at sunset at Rottness Island, or the varied fare of home. Food caught, prepared and eaten with family and friend is always better. The photo here is of my mother with one of our regions most famous fish the Coromandel Snapper. This one is a very nice standard model and will provide very nicely for the family dinner!. Actually my mother is the sly fisherwomen of the family. Ask her if she has something on the end of the line and the answer is always "no, its a throwback" (meaning undersize which has to be returned), 9 times out of 10 it never is and it goes into the sack for dinner. Mum keeps quietly doing this on the side of boat all the time, and I suspect over the years that while she has never pulled in the massive huge snapper she has far outfished all of us combined. Converserley if you are wondering Mum holds the record for pulling the largest Kingfish for the family and if records stand:
Dad/Andrew largest Harpuka/Sea Bass – you two go figure that one out.
Mum largest Kingfish
Me largest Snapper
Does my family like to fish.
Just a little!

Life in a Dilbert Cartoon Jun 28


This week has been like living in a Dilbert cartoon. Some of the stuff thats being happening could only happy in such a place, since we seem to be having a reality detachment. Unfortunately I’ve got to work through it. Its rather stunning to have your new manager walking around the office, but never introduce himself – for two whole weeks!! One day I may actually meet the man, thats if I decide to hang around.

Lost – One Rainy Season Jun 28


I’ve been told by my Japanese friends that the rainy season is going to be late this year, and that is somewhere down in Kushu. Apprently someone got careless and lost it, as we are supposed to be having loads of rain about now. Actually we should be almost finished with it about now! All we seem to have it murky skies, temperatures in the high 20’s and humidity in the high 80’s.

Basically just bluck. I’ve made a note to take some pictures of it tommorow, haven’t bothered so far as its far from photographic! Have been wondering whats been going on as there has been a complete lack of rain even thou it feels like its going to hose down all the time. To be fair it has had its moments where it has dropped some water on us which does cool things down a little, raises the humidity and makes everything damper!

Have figured out the dry cycle on my air conditioning units and the water that runs out onto the deck is truely astonding. Also now given up and close the windows at night with air con running in the other room as its just to humid to sleep comfortably at night. Given that the sun is up at 4:30am even second of sleep is needed!

So things to look forward to are: The real rainy season in a few more days and then the real heat!. Bring it on!

Arbour Day Jun 20


Well arbour day Papa Aroha style. Every year my extended family gather back at the farm for what is now called Arbour Day. It started as one of my mothers long term projects of re-planting the beach with native tree’s and has sort of grown from there.

Its turned into quite a success and many trees are now growing well and it gives the family a excuse to get together. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to attend these gatherings and only get the pictures from them. The last set of pictures included one of my father and his grandson (the two Toms), planting a kauri tree. For those unfamiliar with New Zealand Kauri click here. Suffice to say the trees live for over a 1000 years so its a rather special photograph.

This year my cousin suggested that the another reason is to celebrate the return to health of my parents. Personally I can’t think of a better reason, now I just wish I could be home.

Just what did you have for Breakfast Jun 15

Have been watching on and off the Antony Bourdain travel program on the Discovey Channel here in Tokyo. This one episode he is talking about having a laksa for breakfast in Malaysia and it sorta got me to thinking. Just how many different types of breakfast have I been fed/eaten in my travels around the big blue/green thing.

To be truthful I’ve really lost track. All I know is that while some of them may have been a little odd, they were all very tasty. I do recall Roti-kanai in Malaysia which is a sorta pancake served with cold curry sauce. Its actually very tasty! (ordered many times!) Then there is the Laksa, Noodles in Thailand. Olives, Tomatoes and hard boiled eggs in the middle east (yummy) and dried fish here in Japan! (and cold chinese in the UK, and yes it does happen), oh and lets not forget Champange breakfasts!!!!!!

So basically my breakfast these days does not conform to the normal western diet. While I have no issue with a bowl of cornfakes, and yes I brought bread the other day for toast as it was something I’ve not had in a while, the menu is now very different!

I guess one of my lessons from the wanderings is that what you are given on your plate is the food to eat, and unless you like going hungry you eat it!. And hey, 98% of the time its really nice! The 2% is seaweed in the morning, not quite got there yet. Have eaten it, but not exactly going to go running back for seconds.

oh and yes. Bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, the full English (minus black pudding thanks), the full Irish, Scottish, Welsh, oh yeah, we still have them at home in NZ. (grilled and healthy), but yes, I do like them. However the mind and taste buds are still open!.

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Rainy Season wa. Something is Missing! Jun 14

The Rain! I’m guessing that calling it the ‘Blucky Season’ would not have sounded attractive so someone thought, well it rains a little, so lets call it the rainy season. It does have a sort of exotic sound to it and makes people think, oh well, its just rain. If you advertised come in June to the ‘Blucky Season’ the tourist figures would be down I’m guessing. So what exactly is blucky, well no sun, moderate humity, about 25 degree’s heat and fairly damp since it always looks like its going to rain, but doesn’t quite.

Odd as before the official start of the rainy season it was piddling down with rain regularly. Now that we are in the middle of it, not a drop has fallen. Go figure. Still trying to get all the things done before the heat really kicks in as you can feel it building everyday. Walking out of the buildings now you can feel the heat and humidity hit you. Not drastically yet like Singapore, but I am sure it will be there shortly.

Watch for the big puddles!

All your Veges in one Hit Jun 14

And organic to boot! Have discovered a great place to have lunch near work called ‘Mothers’. Its an organic shop/cafe and for 1260Yen you can have the lunch time organic vege buffet. A very diverse range of vegetables cooked in both western and japanese style, and totally delicious! So we have put it on the list of once a week for lunch to make sure we get our 5 a day vege count!!

The idiots guide to Ryokan. Jun 10

If this book does not exisit then perhaps it needs to written in english

Better Italian than Italy? Jun 07



One thing that has become really obvious during my time here in Japan is the quality of the food. Not just the food in the supermarket, or the purely Japanese food, but all the food you can get. Its all excellant.

The pictures here are a little place sure and I went to down on the coast of the inland sea run by the guy in the photo. He had just opened the place and we were his only customers. He cooked us the most amazing spaghetti, I would rank it better than spaghetti that I’ve had in Italy! Sue agreed with me completely. Maybe we were hungry, but I don’t think it was that.

East meets West Jun 04

Or more precisely the Celtic and Zen! If you have been reading things have been a little up and down for me lately. I dipped my toes back into the murky pool called relationships, and sure enough, it hasn’t changed much from last time. Water is still full of sharks, water snakes and other assorted amoeba’s. After being rescued by friends, dragged back to the beach, and resucitated, I’ve spent the last few weeks retreated in a Zen garden watching the rain come down (literally). Well, the sky is clearing now and while part of me is remaining in the zen garden on the hill I’m back out there again. But this is where the East meets West bit comes in.

I am full New Zealander, born and bred, but also my blood is celtic derived on both sides of the familly. So why is a celtic boy in Eastern Zen gardens searching for enlightenment?

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